Monday, 13 September 2010

Trial By Jury - Or A Weekend Away?

Good afternoon fellow bloggers. Hope you had a good weekend. I did. I had a very enjoyable weekend which did involve lots of socialising over food and drink. Oh how I wish there were a 'blush' emoticon.

Do you find it hard to 'diet' when days and functions have been set up to focus on food, drink and enjoyment? I do. I know I should be prepared, have a plan, have a little of things I like and say no to things which can add pounds if you merely sniff them. I know alcohol is calorie-laden too.

Did I practice restraint on my weekend away? Sort of. Some of the time.

Good things: I walked and walked and walked.
Bad things: I ate and drank too much.

I am not sure what over-indulgence means to others but to me it means just not caring what I eat. I don't stuff my face. I don't binge. I don't go up for second and third helpings, but I don't make the most sensible food choices either. It wasn't too bad, but given I am trying to LOSE weight I could have had less to eat.

We stayed in a lovely hotel and on both mornings we had a buffet breakfast. There were two immediate eating challenges although one was easier than anticipated because of circumstances.

We walked into town and joined a gathering of family and friends on Friday night and later on headed back to the hotel (on foot - quite a long walk there and it's all good) with my man's brother and his wife. We get along well. They are good company. We'd had a pub meal - chicken with chili noodles and vegetables for me, and a few bottles of wine between us. After our long walk on a cold September night of course going to the cosy hotel bar for a night-cap before bed was suggested, and who was I to argue? Brandy? Coffee? Yeah...sounded good. Special treat.

The small hotel bar was full of 'dressed up' people going in and out because a wedding party had taken place earlier. The bride and groom were staying the night so they were wandering around too even though it was late and most of their guests had departed. They wanted to prolong their special day. It had gone midnight and they'd had were very chatty and friendly. They were Southerners, we were Midlanders, so our accents were different and we had all the 'Where are you from?' chat...which progressed to them telling us in turn about how they'd met. They were in and out, plonking themselves down at our table every now and then and they really were a pleasant young couple..who almost told us their life stories! A few people gathered in a hotel bar late at night become very intimate very quickly!

Across the room two other couples joined in with the general chat and it was all very convivial. There was lots of laughing and of course the men folk kept us supplied with drinks. At some point it was suggested by the couples across the room that if we hadn't tried sambuca, black sambuca, then we hadn't really lived. We were all very mellow, so middle aged and supposedly sensible people that we are, we tried shots of black sambuca on top of other drinks!

Hmmm. Interesting. Sweet. Like liquorice. Nice. There was no restraint now whatsoever. I won't lie.

So, all in all, wine, brandy and sambuca had been downed and it was 3.30am before we all departed for our rooms.

Oh dear. Not sensible. Not good. Over-indulgence. Empty calories, over-worked liver.

Very bad really. However, I have the capacity to shrug and not care much at the time. I'll go with the is short etc. :-(

I am not really a drinker. I enjoy a glass or two of wine with food, but I can take it or leave it and of late I have been washing down my food with water. I like the pureness of water. Fortunately I drank lots of water too that evening and in the morning my head wasn't TOO sore. I didn't feel wonderful but I didn't have the hangover from hell either. I felt vaguely queasy. We got up early, made our way down to breakfast and didn't eat much at all. BONUS! Yay! Let's hear it for drinking black sambuca! Great appetite suppressant!

Ooops. No. Didn't mean that. Don't try this at home boys and girls.

Tea is my friend. After a few cups of tea I livened up slightly and managed to eat a very small portion of muesli and some scrambled eggs and tomatoes on dry toast. No Danish pastry or croissant for me...although normally I wouldn't have been able to resist them.

We took paracetamol, went back to bed for the morning - what a waste of a fine day - and got up at lunchtime, ate nothing, showered and went for a long walk in the nearby woods...taking bottled water with us. The fresh air was nice.

Not a good start. That evening there was another buffet to endure - the 21st party itself, held in the function room of a swish Indian restaurant. (The room had been decorated beautifully.)

Fortunately we all felt fine when the time came to eat again. I drank cals...and I had small portions of all the (Indian) foods I fancied. I was aware of that 'greedy' instinct that a buffet seems to trigger in me. However, because I was aware that I could have as much as I wanted, of anything available, and I could go back time and time again to load my plate, I became conscious of what I was doing. I avoided the creamy curries laced with butter and cream. I tried to ensure the portion of vegetable curry was the biggest and I had a small piece of naan bread rather than rice. I heaped the salad on my plate and I did eat a samosa and quite a lot of dry chicken tikka. Pudding consisted of chocolate caked laced with orange liqueur and ice cream, plus an assortment of (very sweet) Indian deserts. I took a small slice of birthday cake and one scoop of ice cream, and was glad that my "Yuk, pudding after a meal is too sweet and just too much" natural instinct kicked in. I am not a big fan of chocolate, and chocolate cake with a fudge icing is just sickly. I gave my plate to my man after two spoonfuls and he finished it off.

No beer or wine for us! We walked back again, glad of the long night walk and avoided the hotel bar..I ordered a pot of tea which was brought up to our room, kicked off my shoes and we sat on the bed drinking tea and enjoying a film on TV.

We felt bright and alert on Sunday morning and we went down to the breakfast buffet. So much food had been laid on. I chose a small bowl of grapefruit segments...(I sprinkled them with half a teaspoon of brown sugar) then I had a thick apricot yogurt. (Too creamy, but gorgeous.) I didn't have toast and butter with my main meal..everyone else seemed to. As we were helping ourselves from large trays of hot food I could pick and choose the healthiest options so I went for a spoonful of baked beans, a large portion of tomatoes, one fried egg and one rasher of bacon. I don't like fat on meat at all, so I ate only the lean meat. I could have chosen fried mushrooms, fried bread, sausages, black-pudding as well, but I didn't. Oh, I had a small glass of freshly squeezed orange juice too. I had a cup of tea and, because I'd gone without cereal, bread or toast I finished off with a warm croissant and a small cup of coffee. (Gotta go continental...) That was my treat. Yes, I have to wean myself off  'treats' I think. I saved a few calories on the cooked breakfast and deliberately spent them in a different form. A croissant isn't nutritious....when was greasy flaky pastry ever good for us? But it was nice, and I didn't feel deprived. (On reflection, this is 'maintenance mode' eating, not weight-loss eating....and that's if I can burn off the calories!)

I wouldn't eat that amount of food for breakfast when I am at home. If I really put my mind to it I could cut back even more calories because after all, I do want to SEE a weight loss even though my clothes are feeling slightly looser.

What makes resisting temptation difficult for many people is they don't want to discourage it completely. ~ Franklin P. Jones

I justified it by telling myself we would do lots of walking and we did. The hotel was on the fringes of a small town so we left the car in the visitors car-park rather than pay charges in the public car parks in town. It was a trek to the shops...and a trek back but I like walking. The shopping centre comprised of one VERY long high street with shops on either side of the road, and a big semi-circular indoor mall behind that. So we walked up one side of the street, down the other and then did the mall.There were some interesting, individual, independent retailers - art galleries, antique shops, craft shops so browsing was fun and we discovered an outdoor market at the end of the high street so as we had two sunny days we did a lot of walking and browsing, in between gathering with family and friends and eating.

We drove home last night and today I feel tired, but satisfied that we had a weekend away from it all, and it was good fun.

I shan't weigh myself this week! I might become disheartened if I jumped on the scale today. Hopefully things will even themselves out if I try to cut back a little more this week...and endeavour to exercise every day.


  1. The thing that impresses me is that you kept in mind your goal..had fun and enjoyed yourself. I love walking too, especially at night with someone special. How romantic is that?
    Pat yourself on the back for me..You did good!

  2. You had a great time, so let it go and do better with your eating this week. No need to feel embarrassed whatsoever. Fun happens.

  3. Glad you had a good time and staying off the scale is most likely a wise move.

  4. I say "Bring On The Scale" and face the consequences. You had fun and now you are ready to get back to work. Avoiding the numbers isn't going to change anything. I love that you stayed up all night partying...we have to do that once in a while. Jo

  5. I know from the comment you posted on my blog that you are going to try to move in the direction of making the event the event instead of the food. I know you can do it, because I have. It was hard initially, but through planning it has become easier and easier.

    I also wonder if you have read any of Sean Anderson's blog. It is fantastic and would help you to think about getting through events, too. (

    You can do it!!

  6. While reading your post I too thought of Sean Anderson who talks about making the event all about the people rather than the food.

  7. Thanks for all your thoughts folks :)

    Strangely enough, I mentioned Sean's blog in my "I am going to do this!" post recently. He makes sense of all the dilemmas I face...and I am sure all of us trying to lose weight face them too!

    Yes, Friday night was a bit wild, but unless we walk on the wild side occasionally I suspect we might as well be measured up for that big pine box :)

    Happy memories..the ones we create, are priceless I think. I shall smile whenever I think about black sambuca, and so will my friends.

    It's about getting the balance right. I am STILL finding it hard to enjoy events because of the guilt I sometimes feel over my eating and drinking. I don't want to be constantly thinking about food. Life shouldn't be like this.

    However, (I tell myself frequently) I am sure once we begin to practice restraint it becomes second nature to just go for the healthy choices. (Does it? Tell me it does! LOL)

    Do we ever COMPLETELY lose that love of the foods we once indulged in though? This is why I try to include them every now and then. Fighting all my instincts on a daily basis really screws me up.

    I want to lose weight, and I need to lose weight and I guess life has to completely change for that to happen?

    The eat less, move more equation is a simple one to grasp.

    Living that equation isn't as simple unless we really throw ourselves wholeheartedly into a new lifestyle. If I am honest, I am still resisting.

    Do I smack myself around the head for being a klutz, or give myself a soothing cuddle because I am doing OK just as I am?

    Grump...being 'good' but aware she has the ability to be really 'bad' food-wise :(

  8. First off, I reckon you did just fine at the weekend. I agree fun is important, but you really didn't go crazy-mad with what you ate or drank or with what you did. You could have done so give yourself some credit.

    You asked:
    "Do we ever COMPLETELY lose that love of the foods we once indulged in?"

    In my book, no we don't. But they either become less of a magnet in the first place or we reach some sort of balance when confronted by them and don't gorge ourselves uncontrollably (usually).

    I for one could not make myself 'give up' stuff for life (not even peanut butter which I will have again when I get a grip on how much is too much). Denial seems too much like the idea of purgatory to me. Moderation is my favourite word, as I guess is yours - maybe we should set up a 'moderation' tee-shirt sale?

  9. LOL Deniz. Yes, I like the idea of a 'moderation in all things" tee-shirt!

    I have just left a comment on your blog...before I saw this. You are a shining example of how to succeed, and how to have fun whilst not going over-board in relation to food. Knowing I refuse to embrace constant denial actually helps me slightly. I may be over-eating on occasions, but I am not wracked by the guilt I used to feel any more. That guilt would be destructive and I'd give up on myself as a lost cause.

    One day at a time eh?

    "Getting stronger"...why can I hear the Rocky music in my head? :)